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Chief Wahoo Logo Removed from Cleveland Indians Uniforms


The Cleveland Indians have announced that they will remove the Chief Wahoo Logo from the team's jerseys and hats in 2019.  The logo is depicted here:

Image result for chief wahoo

According to the ESPN article about the decision, the team has agreed that the logo is no longer appropriate for "on field use".  However, the team will continue to use the logo on merchandise.

This decision is interesting, because an owner of a trademark must use the mark in interstate commerce to retain rights in the mark.  The Cleveland Indians own a federal registration for the log for a variety of goods and services, including jewelry, paper goods, glassware, clothing, toys and entertainment services.  If the team stops using the mark in connection with any of these goods and services, they will lose rights in the mark for those goods or services.  This puts them in an interesting quandary.  If the logo is inappropriate, should they stop using it completely?  However, if they stop using it, they will lose their trademark rights, allowing someone else to use and register the logo.  So, is the question one of control vs. appropriateness?  They can't prevent others from using the logo without using it themselves.